Bobby Johnson had to sit this one out, as he served his one match ban for the red card he received a fortnight ago, against Morpeth Town. The front pairing combined brilliantly in the first period, Javelle Clarke's ball releasing Howe to race into the box. Checking onto his right foot, Jordan Boon did well to block. Before Howe and Southwell linked up again, as Southwell flashed an effort wide of the far post.
There was a let off for Trinity when a Lewis Coulton free-kick found unmarked, but his header was straight at Dylan Wharton. That chance reignited the Gainsborough thrust as they drove forward with intent. Howe's chipped ball over the Atherton back line found Southwell, who got to the ball first and taking the ball round the visiting number one, had his ankles clipped, with Referee Anthony Tankard pointing to the spot and booking the 'keeper for his troubles. Dayle Southwell stepping up to send Nico De Freitas-Hansen the wrong way from twelve yards.
The goal meant that Southwell had his tail up, and as he plucked the ball out of the sky, his close control took Jordan Boon by surprise, catching Trinity's number nine late. Gainsborough had the ball in the net from the resultant free-kick, only for that initial joy to be short-lived as Assistant Referee Daniel Gilpin had his flag aloft. Ten minutes or so, after going behind, Atherton's Lewis Mansell looked to get in behind, but went to ground too easily, when the chance was there for him to ask further questions of Dylan Wharton and his Gainsborough back line.
Dec Howe was proving to be a live wire up top, dragging wide, before shooting weakly at De Freitas-Hansen. George Hornshaw was finding space down the right to whip a few decent crosses in. The 'keeper doing well to claim the second. But Trinity were bright and pressed quickly from De Freitas-Hansen release, with the goalkeeper making amends with a routine stop to deny Southwell.
Howe then curled straight at the visiting custodian, before Nathaniel Wallace did brilliantly down the right and Javelle Clarke making the box from the left just couldn't keep his header down, but promising signs with both flanks looking to influence proceedings. Gainsborough then had to show their resolute side, as bodies were put on the line, before Colls' Dylan Moonan, leaning back, failed to trouble Wharton.
Upended, Clarke drew the foul, from which Lewis Butroid brought out the best of the visiting number one. Right into the postage stamp, De Freitas-Hansen turned the ball behind for a corner. Just before the break, the Referee issued a stern ticking off for Harvey Gregson, as Bailey Conway was dragged to the ground after some dogged play by Gainsborough midfielder.
Half Time: Gainsborough Trinity 1 Atheron Collieries 0
Having dominated the first half, the Blues only went in, one up, and despite a spirited start to the second half from the visitors, when Dylan Cogill guided home Lewis Butroid's free kick, things looked comfortable for the home side. Butroid's left-footed delivery really causing problems for the Colls. Southwell and Howe were in the hunt to further add to the scoreline, but Trinity were grateful to the defensive shield provided by Bailey Conway. Conway blocking bravely to deny Mansell.
Wharton was then cautioned for time wasting in open play, and an indirect freekick awarded. Trinity defended the set piece well, but fifteen minutes from time, Jordon Scanlon reduced the arrears after Anthony Tankard awarded his second penalty of the afternoon. Southwell was clinical from further out, as he curled home a sublime free-kick after Jack Moore-Billam was caught late. Harry Gregson picking up the first of two yellows, and the ultimate red, inside nine second half minutes.
The Holy Blues made the one man advantage count further when two minutes into stoppage time, substitutes Harry Lovick and Joel Holvey combined. Lovick’s perfectly weighted ball was met by Holvey’s stooping header to put the gloss on Russ Wilcox's first game in charge, the second time Trinity have hot four at home this season.
Gainsborough Trinity: Dylan Wharton, George Hornshaw, Lewis Butroid, Bailey Conway, Hamish Douglas, Dylan Cogill, Nathaniel Wallace (Joel Holvey 61) Jack Moore-Billam (Harry Lovick 88) Dayle Southwell, Declan Howe, Javelle Clarke (Harrison Poulter 79). Subs not used: Liam Hardy and Tom Parkinson.
Atherton Collieries: Nico DeFreitas-Hansen, Josh Solomon-Davies (Ben Rydell 73) Lewis Coulton, Jack Evans, Jordan Fagbola, Jordan Boon, Harvey Gregson, Dylan Moonlan, Lewis Mansell, Jordan Scanlon, Nathan, Caine. Subs not used: Sid Fofana and Josh Askew.
Gainsborough Goals: Southwell (13 penalty, 78), Cogill (51) and Holvey (90+2)
Atherton Goal: Scanlon (75 penalty)
Entertainment Rating: 4/5
Man of the Match: Declan Howe (Gainsborough)
Match Report by Rob Hughes (@AATM_Media)